Rachel Harrison Gordon
New York University, Stern School of Business and Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at the Tisch School of the Arts (MBA/MFA dual degree program)
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I’m a data mining storyteller who likes to build stuff.
Hometown: Millburn, NJ
Fun Fact About Yourself: This summer I circled the country, driving 10,000 miles, through 31 states, in 27 days.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Pennsylvania, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
- Various Film Production Projects, Associate Producer, Production Assistant, Swing
- S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Presidential Innovation Fellow
- The New York Times, Manager, Mobile Analytics
- IPREO, Mobile Product Analyst
- SSI Health, Business Technology Analyst
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a Presidential Innovation Fellow at Veterans Affairs, I organized collaborative forums to discuss analytics and user experience. These conversations helped establish clear roles and responsibilities for enterprise data stewardship. While the main goal was to inform Secretary McDonald’s MyVA strategy, these events empowered VA employees at all levels to contribute and participate. There were many different voices at the table, facilitating transparency.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? You’re human, things happen. If you need to reschedule your test date, just do it! Don’t beat yourself up over something arbitrary, and remember your job is to put yourself in the best position to succeed.
Also make sure you can access your food during the GMAT! Don’t lock it in the locker…
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? My time in government afforded me the privilege to co-host the White House’s tech video blog “We the Geeks,” and participate on a live-streamed panel at a NASA event for girls studying computer science and robotics. These events confirmed the potential I saw for video and tech-based outreach.
NYU Stern’s dual-degree opportunity seemed like the perfect avenue to help me plan and build a production company that focuses on issues that need more spotlight: mental health, drug addiction, the lack of diversity in STEM, and other results of societal stigmas that exploration and accessible presentation of information can clarify and demystify. A Stern MBA will provide me with the technical knowledge that will, coupled with NYU’s multidisciplinary offerings, put me in position to do this successfully.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? With all the events and opportunities available, I want to make sure I’m focused on my own goals and climbing my own ladder, not one that might be right for someone else.